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Darkness Before the Dawn: The


Published ca. 1955


How the "Pride of Judea" organization, located in New York City, assists "at-risk" Jewish teenage boys. Producer: Arnold Panken. Associate Producer: Walter Stuart. Writer: Harold Lea. Director: Herbert Shoble. Director of Photography: Richard Shore. Narrator: Wally Duguet.


Run time 21:14
Producer Pankan (Arnold)
Sponsor Schermer (P.S.) & Co., Inc.
Audio/Visual Sd, C

Shotlist

Guidance film targeted at Jewish teenage boys who are not "normal." Numerous psychiatrists are seen. Shot in New York City.


Social guidance Adolescence Teenagers Boys Normality Psychology Psychiatrists Behavior Safety
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Reviews

Reviewer: Alan Zend - - July 25, 2007
Subject: Sanctuary
I lived there for two years with my older sisters while our parents went through a nasty divorce. It was a sanctuary for me though at the time I wouldn't have used that word. I was 5-6 years old. The film is certainly a 1950's genre, but it expresses the hopes and values of the time. I certainly did notice that none of the adults or kids were fat. Though I was too young to be in the troubled teen catagory I found it to be a kind and nurturing place. It gave me a break from bizarre and dysfunctional parents for a while, and I only wish that this "sappy" documentary were still relavent today.
Reviewer: ERD - - September 5, 2005
Subject: Darkness Before Dawn Succeeds
An excellent film which covers the goals of the Pride Of Judea organization in the time limit given.
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - - January 6, 2004
Subject: Lots and Lots of Ways Kids Are Being Helped
This 50s film profiles the Pride of Judea ChildrenÂs Services, an agency which provides psychological and social work services to Jewish children in New York City. This film tries to be all things to all people. It starts with a brief, lurid handwringing about the problem of juvenile delinquency, then goes through all the things Pride of Judea is doing about it. ThereÂs a lot of stuff, so the narrator chatters on and on without taking a breath, covering the summer camp for troubled and underpriviledged boys, the psychotherapy services provided for children and their parents, the homemaker service which provides help for families where the mother is temporarily incapacitated or absent, and the day nursery for single-parent families. Most of this is covered in a fairly standard fashion, with momentary lapses into sensationalism or sappiness, but nothing lasts long because the film is so jam-packed with stuff. It does give a historically interesting glimpse into social services and Jewish culture during the 50s. But, man, I wish that narrator would slow down and take a breath once in awhile!
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
Reviewer: Spuzz - - April 12, 2003
Subject: Jewish kids and the law!
This is another one of those 'to think I've seen everything on this site' films. This film, about the Pride Of Judea society. which helps Jewish kids that lack parental guidance to a more stable way of growing up, provides a fascinating glimpse into this organization, we meet a case study, who is growing up without a parent in the household. He is taken in and we are shown the many ways the group handles problem children like this. A worthwhile film.
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